10 January, 2014 - 13:23

Premier League fixtures. Newcastle United v Manchester City

Premier League fixtures. Newcastle United v Manchester City

As Premier League managers architect winter transfers, players get ready for Matchday 21.

Newcastle United v Manchester City
Any game of Manchester City has turned into pure entertainment with plenty of goals scored and Alan Pardew’s French legion will have to learn from August 4-0 mauling at Etihad to resist Manuel Pellegrini’s machine. The Magpies have not scored in the last two Premier League matches and were knocked out of the FA Cup last week. Yet they managed to upset the big clubs in Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea earlier in the season. Manchester City have not lost since 10 November in all tournaments and are in amazing shape at the moment. Jesus Navas and Yaya Toure are major doubts but Sergio Aguero is close to return from calf injury. Fabricio Coloccini, Yohan Cabaye and Tim Crul are the main setbacks for the hosts, while Mathieu Debuchy is serving suspension.

Manchester United v Swansea City
David Moyes hosts Michael Laudrup at Old Trafford for the second time inside a week. Wayne Routledge and Wilfried Bony scored for the Welsh club last Sunday to give them a historic victory in the FA Cup. No doubt it is a win-or-die game for The Red Devils now as they lie five points adrift the Champions League fourth place and need to turn over their miserable start of the season. Robin van Persie is set for return from foot injury, but Wayne Rooney, who missed the last two matches, remains a doubt, as well as Nani, Chicharito and Jonny Evans. Marouane Fellaini and Ashley Young are out of the clash. However, Swansea are probably in a bigger trouble with Jonathan De Guzman, Roland Lamah, Michu, Pablo Hernandez, Nathan Dyer and Michel Vorm and Dwight Tiendalli all sidelined.

Cardiff City v West Ham United
The two clubs might lie in the bottom part of the table, but the clash in Cardiff is the one not to miss. Both clubs are in relegation battle, which makes the rivalry uncompromised. But what attracts more attention to the fixture is personalities of managers. Saturday game is a Premier League debut for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The Norwegian specialist knocked Newcastle United out of the FA Cup last week and will look to build on that success. However, Sam Allardyce needs a decent result badly after 5-0 drubbing at Nottingham Forest and 6-0 at Manchester City earlier in the week. His job might be in the air should he not bring home three point from Wales. However, his side are still missing strikers as Andy Carroll is not yet ready for long-awaited return. Cardiff have lately strenghtened with a striker Magnus Eikrem, though.

Hull City v Chelsea
Cardiff City v West Ham United
Everton v Norwich City
Fulham v Sunderland
Southampton v West Bromwich Albion
Tottenham Hotspur v Crystal Palace
Manchester United v Swansea City
Newcastle United v Manchester City
Stoke City v Liverpool
Aston Villa v Arsenal

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Author: Leon Smolski

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10 January 2014, 13:32

If City go on with their current form, Messi will need to show his best magic to get past them in Europe.

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